Friday, September 2, 2011

Back to Iowa

I just got back from a trip to the Quad Cities in my home state of Iowa. While I was there I was able to see some of my family and many of my friends. It was a wonderful visit and I cannot wait until my next trip to the QC.

On Friday I made my way to St. Charles, Illinois to see my Nana. It was the third time that I've seen my grandma since she was moved out of the Quad Cities. I miss her dearly and although I was sad that I had to make the trip to Chicago by myself, I will have to admit that I enjoyed having her all to myself during our visit. My grandma went through a phase where she would actually let us take her picture. It was nice while it lasted, but it also served as a blazing reminder to me that she doesn't remember many things about herself because of her dementia. So in my recent visit I was actually pleasantly surprised that she remembered how much she hates her picture taken. On that note... these are the only two shots that I got of her. Not the best pictures, but at least one of the pictures proves that I was actually on my vacation since I am normally the one behind the camera. Actually... I am the one taking the picture of my grandma and I which is probably why it is such an awful picture of me.

My attempt at taking a picture of my grandma and I. You can tell my grandma is not happy with me...

I also made a drive to my old home outside of Calamus, Iowa. This is the house that my mom and dad built. As you can see from the name that I engraved on the driveway, we moved in when I was 13. Prior to living in this log home, we lived in a cabin that my dad expanded into a log home. The first home is right on the Wapsipinicon (Wapsi) River. The second house is also on the river, but the trees in Iowa are so thick that you could only see the river in the winter (when the trees lost their leaves).

We all actually engraved our names in the cement and we also engraved our last name and the year we moved in.

This is a view of the house from the corn field in front of the yard.

I didn't take a lot of pictures of the actual house because it doesn't look exactly like it did when we lived there (we have pictures of those days since my mom is a fantastic photo journalist). It was neat to see how it has changed, though, and the lady who lives in it let me walk right in and look around... That's Iowa for ya ;o).

Below is a picture of the chimney. We used a wood burning fireplace to keep the house warm. The current owners don't use the chimney anymore, other than for decoration. Like the remainder of the house, the chimney was crafted by my dad along with the hard labor of my mom and sometimes us kids. I believe that my name is written all over on the inside of this chimney as well as 'Amber loves fill in the blank'... which would be any boy that I might of liked at that time :o)

Here's a black and white of some of the natural woodwork on the loft...

Our old lane, the shorter of the two, that we had to trek down to get to the bus. The lane to the cabin was much longer, more curvy and miserably far from the bus stop. With the cabin lane there was no telling when the bus was there and we would have to stand in the snow and cold to wait. Now I sound like an old person complaining about how hard I had it... ha, ha. When we lived in this house, our lane looked much nicer. My mom would go out and hand pick weeds quite often. We also kept more gravel on our lane than what is seen in this picture.

This is the view from the front of the house. The corn is tall this time of year and we had a lot of it growing in the front of our yard. The pines that line the front of the property were only up to my knees when I moved out of the house. Now look at them...

Here's the corn field that we use to hide in...

On my way out I drove through a curvy gravel road just a mile or two from our old house. I always liked running on this road because I thought the views were pretty. Now you can enjoy it too...

I made my way up to Toronto, Iowa to visit a friend. We met on the Wapsi so... you know me, I thought I would snap a couple of pictures. My friend told me that this is the longest bridge in Clinton County. I probably should have taken a picture of the whole bridge.

Growing up, I use to play on a Wapsi sand bar similar to this one. My brother, sister and I would make sand castles and collect shells.

That is it for the milder part of my trip. Next I will post about our fun girls night out :o)

1 comment:

tbsomeday said...

i LOVE the pic of you and your grandma--the look on her face is priceless!!

great pics of the old place
your parents did such an amazing job on that house

love the sandbar ones too of course :)